WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Waveland Mayor David Garcia's name will not appear on ballots this fall. "I've made the decision to retire at the conclusion of my term as Mayor of Waveland," Garcia wrote Tuesday in a letter to the citizens of his city.
Garcia has spent four decades as a public servant. He was Waveland's fire chief before being elected the city's mayor. "As I reflect on these past 40 years, I can't begin to thank God enough for all of the strength and guidance He has provided," Garcia wrote. "When times have been tough, my family, my friends and supporters have always been there to remind me that tough decisions are hard for a reason. And for that I am very thankful."
Garcia one term as mayor included a financial that saw the city on the brink of bankruptcy. But, he notes in his letter his administration turned a million dollar deficit into a two million dollar surplus. Along the way, jobs had to be slashed, and employees had to be furloughed. "If the future leaders of Waveland do not continue to act in the best interest of its citizens, history will repeat itself and we will once again find ourselves in dire straits," the mayor says.
In recent days, Garcia became the first Mississippi mayor to support same sex marriage.
"I want to express my upmost appreciation to all of my supporters whose never ending words of encouragement gave me the confidence to lead," the Waveland mayor writes in his retirement letter. "It has been a great honor to know that you trusted (me) to do what was right.
Garcia's decision to retire comes less than two weeks before qualifying begins in his city. Waveland is the only South Mississippi city with municipal elections in 2014. Candidates have from August 8 to September 5 to submit qualifying papers.
The Waveland municipal election primaries are November 4. The general election is December 2.